Wine Cask Goes Kegger?

Restaurant Holds a Beer-Pairing Dinner

Maybe Oktoberfest got the best of the Wine Cask gang, but on Tuesday, October 18, at 7 p.m., they’ll be serving up their first-ever “Beer Dinner,” five-courses matched with brilliant brews from around the world.

Branden Bidwell
Click to enlarge photo

Branden Bidwell

“Wine Cask has always been known for our incredibly extensive, well-edited wine list, and we have hosted countless wine-pairing dinners, so this was an idea we came up with to have a little fun with beer for a change,” explained Wine Cask’s wine director, Branden Bidwell. “Guests don’t always think to check out our beer list when they’re here. I’m a big fan of craft brews and have recently been experimenting at home making my own, so this was a perfect opportunity for me to showcase some excellent beers we have available and for Chef Brandon Hughes to get creative in the kitchen and come up with a hearty menu to pair with my selections. And as the old saying goes, sometimes a cold beer just hits the spot!”

Since it’s the Wine Cask, we’re not talking Bud and brats — indeed, the main course is bratwurst, but made from wild boar, and accompanied by rye spaetzle and winter squash puree. As for beers to match that, Bidwell has Brouwerij Verhaeghe “Duchess de Bourgogne” from Belgium and Shmaltz Brewing Company’s “Bittersweet Lenny’s RIPA” (yep, a rye IPA, named in honor of Lenny Bruce and just as bracingly refreshing) lined up. And that’s just one course. Throughout, the beers often come from ale-mecca Belgium (so beware the alcohol levels!) and the food comes from the land of deliciousness: Santa Barbara rock crab fritters kick things off, a rumored-to-be-brilliant “Old Amsterdam” cheesecake with a raisin and sauternes compote closes the night.

The dinner is $75 with pairings, or $55 without (tax and gratuity not included). For more info and reservations, call the Wine Cask, which is located at 813 Anacapa Street, at (805) 966-9463. See

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